Are you willing to trust God’s plan?
From Year of the Bible 2021
Old and nearing death, Isaac told Esau to prepare a special meal and receive his blessing as the firstborn.
Fatherly blessings were more than goodbyes; they had lasting, binding impacts. Fathers would speak to their sons’ futures, give words of encouragement, and convey details about their inheritance.
Hearing that Isaac was ready to bless Esau, Rebekah puts a plan in motion to make sure Jacob receives Esau’s blessing. God had already told Rebekah that Jacob would inherit the family blessing (Genesis 25:23-26). But rather than waiting to see how God’s word would come to pass, Rebekah took matters into her own hands.
Rebekah’s plan unleashes great pain. Esau vows to kill his brother, and Rebekah has to send Jacob away to keep him safe. But not far into Jacob’s journey, God appears to him in a dream, promising to bless Jacob’s family and bless the world through them.
Jesus sent the disciples out to proclaim the good news to the nation of Israel: The kingdom of God was near!
Jesus told the disciples not to take supplies but to let God provide for them in each city they entered. Jesus knew not everyone would respond well to the disciples or their message, so He tells them, “Be shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves.”
In other words, be astute and discerning. Don’t waste time trying to convince people who aren’t receptive. Move on. Keep your lives above board, innocent of wrongdoing, blameless.
People would come after Jesus’ disciples the same way they came after Him. So Jesus tells them to expect persecution, not to fear it, and to trust the Holy Spirit to show them what to say (Matthew 10:19-20).
Make It Personal
- What’s one way you saw God show up last year? How has God shown Himself trustworthy during a tumultuous year?
- Is there anything you’re trying to make happen on your own rather than trusting God’s timing and provision?
- What does it look like for you to be shrewd as a snake and innocent as a dove in the places Jesus sent you?